news An ‘open letter’ from a senior figure in Australia’s marketing and advertising sector calling for action to address the Coalition’s “sub-standard” National Broadband Network has generated an instant and strong response from other high-profile industry figures.
Denise Shrivell is the founder of MediaScope — a high-profile site which aims to connect the dots between professionals within Australia’s broad media, advertising and marketing communities, which are interlinked due to the nature of their work.
Several weeks ago, Shrivell published an ‘open letter’ on LinkedIn noting some of her concerns with the Coalition’s technically inferior Multi-Technology Mix approach to the NBN.
“Today I’m reaching out to all of you with a message about the National Broadband Network (NBN) – the ‘nation building’ telecommunications infrastructure which underpins the ongoing productivity and success of our own and all other Australian industries,” Shrivell wrote.
“It’s time to raise your awareness and serious concerns around the NBN roll-out strategy and understand the negative and profound impact this plan will have on the future of Australian marketing, advertising and media as we transition to a digital based industry operating in a global market.”
Shrivell gave a high-level overview of the situation with the NBN, as well as the global situation with respect to the development of the Internet, before seguing into her view that the Coalition’s version of the NBN would hamstring Australia.
“It’s fair to say, the impacts of inadequate connectivity delivered by the NBN will effectively place Australia under a ‘digital embargo’ partially quarantining us from more technically advanced global markets,” the MediaScope founder wrote.
Shrivell noted that she would be sending her letter to the heads of industry organisations in the media, marketing and advertising sectors, as well as other key stakeholders, and exhorted her followers to take action as well.
A number of high-profile figures within the industry have posted comments under Shrivell’s article, largely supporting her view.
For example, Mike Zeederberg, managing director of digital marketing agency Zuni, wrote: Great post and a highly worthwhile topic to be championing – great work.”
“Very hard to imagine how we are going to have an innovative, agile, growth economy in the next 5-10 years without sorting this out. Let’s ask the PM the solution … oh wait, wasn’t he in charge of Communications when NBN started roll out,” wrote Michelle Vanzella, former head of Customer, Brand and Marketing in Suncorp’s general insurance division.
However, others noted the complexity of the task ahead.
Martin Walsh — who has held digital marketing top-level leadership roles at Myer, Commonwealth Bank, the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, Macquarie Telecom and IBM, congratulated Shrivell on her post.
“The issue now is, what is the real, viable and bipartisan solution here? Sadly, the NBN became a political pawn and no rational presentation of facts and figures is likely to change the course of what is now the ‘Titanic’,” he wrote.
“I also blame the public and the media on this, not just the politicians. Like in America, there is sadly no longer any appetite for civil, constructive and mature debates around any important, long-term issue effecting Australia, whether it’s tax reform, health, NBN or anything else. Until we can get media, politics and the public to tone done all the rhetoric, personal attacks on people who disagree and the posturing, nothing will get fixed.”
I’m highlighting this article on Delimiter because it has been sent to me by a number of readers, and because I’ve seen it forwarded around quite a lot in my broader social networks. It has clearly created a dent in Australia’s marketing and advertising sector.
This makes sense — that sector, as well as media and publishing, has a huge stake in the development of Australia’s broadband infrastructure.
Image credit: NBN company